The whole site stack package is end game of using Composer with WordPress.


It would depend on your project what exactly to put in a package and how to configure it.

For example it can be something like this (original gist) :

    "name"        : "rarst/install-test",
    "description" : "Test project for WordPress stack via Composer",
    "authors"     : [
            "name"    : "Andrey Savchenko",
            "homepage": ""
    "type"        : "project",
    "repositories": [
            "type": "composer",
            "url" : ""
    "config"      : {
        "vendor-dir": "wp-content/vendor"
    "require"     : {
        "johnpbloch/wordpress"            : ">=4.9",
        "rarst/fragment-cache"            : "^1.3",
        "rarst/update-blocker"            : "^1.1"
    "require-dev" : {
        "rarst/laps"                                  : "^1.4.4",
        "rarst/toolbar-theme-switcher"                : "^1.5",
        "wpackagist-plugin/a-fresher-cache"           : "*",
        "wpackagist-plugin/core-control"              : "*",
        "wpackagist-plugin/monster-widget"            : "*",
        "wpackagist-plugin/theme-check"               : "*",
        "wpackagist-plugin/user-switching"            : "*",
        "wpackagist-plugin/wcm-user-language-switcher": "*"
    "extra"       : {
        "wordpress-install-dir": "wp"


  • name is within my rarst/* vendor namespace
  • type is set to project (rather than default library), it is mostly semantic hint that this is root package
  • repositories declare WordPress Packagist proxy for Composer access to official WordPress plugin repository
  • vendor directory is relocated inside wp-content
  • WordPress core, custom theme and number of plugins are listed as dependencies, part of them as for optional development context
  • WordPress core package is configured to go into wp subdirectory (using custom wordpress-install-dir configuration option of core installer, required by core package)


From Local File

  1. Download composer.json from gist into empty directory
  2. Run composer install --prefer-dist in that directory

From Remote Repository


composer create-project rarst/install-test wordpress dev-master --repository-url= --prefer-dist

This will tell Composer to create project:

  • from rarst/install-test package
  • in wordpress directory
  • at dev-master version
  • using custom Composer repository
  • favor direct downloads of packages over cloning from version control


After install the project directory will have the following content:

  • wp WordPress core
  • wp-content
    • plugins
      • packages of wordpress-plugin type
    • themes
      • packages of wordpress-theme type
    • vendor
      • packages of library type
      • autoload.php combined class autoload file for all packages
  • composer.json project file we ran install for
  • composer.lock file with exact current state of packages
  • wp-config.php was not created by this example, but should be placed here

In one command we have neat and nearly complete subdirectory install! The example package we used only lacks properly set up wp-config.php and index.php for complete WordPress site.

WordPress configuration


Notably we made changes to the default WordPress directory structure, which you might be used to. This enables us to update parts of it separately, without worry that core update erases content packages inside of it.

This is supported natively by WordPress configuration, see documentation in Codex:

  1. Giving WordPress Its Own Directory (you likely want Method II with simpler and more robust rewrite setup)
  2. Moving wp-content folder


Since our whole stack shares single Composer–driven autoload for classes — we need to include it into WordPress boot process.

There is no native WordPress convention for autoload and in practice wp-config.php is most appropriate place to set it up.

For example it might look like this at the top of wp-config.php (created at the root, one level above core subdirectory):

require __DIR__ . '/wp-content/vendor/autoload.php';